Friday, October 21, 2005

Different views on S.397 Part 4

Finally, from The Firearms Coalition:

From The Firearms Coalition:

The House of Representatives today passed the Protection of Lawful
Commerce in Arms Act with amendments added by the Senate to require
trigger locks be sold with all guns sold by dealers (current law
requires trigger locks be sold only with new guns). The bill also
redefines armor-piercing ammunition in a manner that amounts to no
substantial change, and calls for a study by the Attorney General of
performance standards of body armor and ammunition. Such standards
already exist (that's where the vest classifications, Type II, Type IIA
and so on come from).

Some of our friends worked very hard against passage of the bill because
they considered the amendments cause for killing the bill. We disagree.
While we don't like the amendments, the bill is a net gain for gun owners.

This is a case where, as my late, lamented father Neal Knox used to say,
"the perfect is the enemy of the good." It is only the most recent
example the other side adapting while the pro-gun side has remained stuck.
The time has come to take a couple of pages from the
anti-rights crowd's playbook:

· Work for strategic incremental changes

It isn't hard to spot cases where the other side has grabbed small
victories. Amendments to the Lawful Commerce in Arms Act provide only one
example. But the important incremental changes are strategic such as
separating gun rights from other civil rights by banning gun
ownership for certain misdemeanors.

There are many opportunities for the pro-rights side to make incremental
changes going the other way. Some could be truly far-reaching.

One example is a clean-up of the "sporting purposes" language of the 1968
Gun Control Act. According current law, the only justification for
civilian ownership of a firearm is if it is "particularly suitable for
sporting purposes." Maybe it's time for Federal law to recognize the
legitimacy of armed self defense. It would certainly make an
interesting debate.

· In politics there is no fourth quarter

Once a bill is passed there is nothing to prevent going back for another
bite at the apple. The other side did it in 1986 when they attached a
machine gun ban to the McClure-Volkmer Gun Owner Protection Act, the first
time in American history that any firearm had been banned.

No rule says if we've passed one bill that we can't pass another, or that
we can't take back next session what we lost in this one.

Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. The game, God willing, is
never over.
Of the different views presented, The Firearms Coalition's most closely match my own. I don't like the mandatory inclusion of trigger locks with all guns sold. In many cases, trigger locks are more dangerous to the gun owner than an unlocked gun. But, this bill as a whole is an incremental step in the right direction. We have slowly been winning back our rights on the national level. We can't expect to get them all back at once, and I regard the trigger lock thing as a temporary sop, something we can come back to next year and rid ourselves of.

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